General Doubles Metagame Thread

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Yeah, I certainly don't deserve to be scraping the bottom of the 1900s with a team I mostly threw together. I feel I have an easier time in doubles because there aren't Smogon Doubles analysis on the main site telling people how to construct their teams.

On low taunt usage: I took a peek at the doubles viability ranking thread. I believe these are all the pokemon in the S and A rank that learn taunt.
Bisharp, Gyarados, Heatran, Hydreigon, Tyranitar, Thundurus, Terrakion, Tornadus
Aside from those with Prankster, I can understand how a person would look at these pokemon and automatically think "3 attacks+protect."
 
One trend I have been noticing, and i think this probably goes hand in hand with the rise in appreciation of Thundurus, is the increased usage of paralysis. With the ladder slowly getting better, battles are beginning to take longer (just the fact that people are wising up to using protect on everything for starters), and, while tailwind and trick room are temporary, thunder wave is permanent, the only permanent form of speed control. (I would add that stun spore is rare, only Whimsicott uses it and its accuracy is unappealing). I myself am using such a team with Thundurus and Ferrothorn to spread paralysis. Also, the longer a match lasts, the greater a chance there is for that 25% full paralysis chance, which in a fast-paced game can be decisive, and means even trick roomers and pranksters don't like paralysis that much.

So, what countermeasures are there? Well first, run stuff that doesn't care about thunder wave: ground types, Thundurus-T, Manaphy (as long as you can get rain up), status orb users. This one is particularly important if you uses thunder wave as your main speed control yourself, in case you meet another thunder wave based team. The game plan then should be to slow down your opposition and keep your paralysis-immune mon as a win condition. I seem to remember coming across such a team that used sand force (not rush) Excadrill, and the extra power he was able to achieve because he didn't need the speed was decisive because it netted KOs i wasn't expecting.

Secondly, safeguard, or, better still, substitute. In fact I would recommend substitute Kingdra over lum berry that someone mentioned a while back to deal with Thundurus.
 
Secondly, safeguard, or, better still, substitute. In fact I would recommend substitute Kingdra over lum berry that someone mentioned a while back to deal with Thundurus.
That was me. And ya, sub Kingdra would totally block Thundurus' TWaves. You know, except for the whole Prankster thing. Lum + Sub might be an option though.

Also, Landorus is TWave Immune as well if you wanna use that.
 
What i meant was that, if Kingdra is behind a sub already, Thundurus couldn't put an end to his sweep. And I often lead with Hitmontop and Kingdra so I can Fake out Thundurus and get the sub. But yeah, point taken.
 

Laga

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Yeah, I certainly don't deserve to be scraping the bottom of the 1900s with a team I mostly threw together. I feel I have an easier time in doubles because there aren't Smogon Doubles analysis on the main site telling people how to construct their teams.

On low taunt usage: I took a peek at the doubles viability ranking thread. I believe these are all the pokemon in the S and A rank that learn taunt.
Bisharp, Gyarados, Heatran, Hydreigon, Tyranitar, Thundurus, Terrakion, Tornadus
Aside from those with Prankster, I can understand how a person would look at these pokemon and automatically think "3 attacks+protect."
First off, I doubt that the reason for the lack of ladder quality goes hand in hand with not having doubles analysis's on-site. Most of the time, it's because the change from singles to doubles is something that most newcomers don't see as significant. So therefore, they do not run Protect on any pokemon, use Toxic and walls that don't support. Obviously, stall does not work in doubles, since you can literally just pick an attacker and pick a victim. I highly doubt that you will ever lose to a stall team in doubles if your team is constructed properly, yet newcomers do not know that.

Second of all, Tornadus and Thundurus are not the only pokemon from A/S rank that use Taunt well. Terrakion can run a perfectly legitimate set with CC / Rock Slide / Taunt / Protect considering how awesome it's STAB coverage is. And Gyarados' main role is to be a bulky Intimidate speed control supporter running Waterfall / Icy Wind or T-Wave / Protect / Taunt. Also, I once ran Bisharp with Taunt just to shit a little bit more on Cresselia. The set I ran was Taunt / Sucker Punch / Iron Head / Protect, and Taunt actually worked extremely well with Sucker Punch in forcing attacks (obviously helping boost your ability to play Sucker Punch mindgames).

But yeah, Taunt is not always the easiest thing to fit on your team, but you do only need to fill a single moveslot and a single pokemon slot to recieve some lovely support, and I personally like running at least one Taunt user on all goodstuff teams, and even on non-goodstuff sometimes.
 
First off, I doubt that the reason for the lack of ladder quality goes hand in hand with not having doubles analysis's on-site. Most of the time, it's because the change from singles to doubles is something that most newcomers don't see as significant. So therefore, they do not run Protect on any pokemon, use Toxic and walls that don't support. Obviously, stall does not work in doubles, since you can literally just pick an attacker and pick a victim. I highly doubt that you will ever lose to a stall team in doubles if your team is constructed properly, yet newcomers do not know that.

Second of all, Tornadus and Thundurus are not the only pokemon from A/S rank that use Taunt well. Terrakion can run a perfectly legitimate set with CC / Rock Slide / Taunt / Protect considering how awesome it's STAB coverage is. And Gyarados' main role is to be a bulky Intimidate speed control supporter running Waterfall / Icy Wind or T-Wave / Protect / Taunt. Also, I once ran Bisharp with Taunt just to shit a little bit more on Cresselia. The set I ran was Taunt / Sucker Punch / Iron Head / Protect, and Taunt actually worked extremely well with Sucker Punch in forcing attacks (obviously helping boost your ability to play Sucker Punch mindgames).

But yeah, Taunt is not always the easiest thing to fit on your team, but you do only need to fill a single moveslot and a single pokemon slot to recieve some lovely support, and I personally like running at least one Taunt user on all goodstuff teams, and even on non-goodstuff sometimes.
I'd also note the VGC Analysis that is on-site is somewhat helpful, just something to note. Taunt is a very useful attack, that I agree with. But I do feel it is not required on every team. There are other ways to deal with Trick Room, Tailwind, and the likes. Still, Taunt is a big part of the game, any Trick Room & Tailwind team needs to be prepared for it. I'll also add in Sableye to the list, it can spread burns as well, has a Fake Out immunity, which stops Fake Out + Trick Room/Tailwind leads, and is just cool in general, not to mention it is immune to Psychic, a STAB several Trick Room setters have. I also have run Taunt Heatran on occasion.
 
A good place to ask these sort of questions would be #doubles, which is where most of that discussion takes place.

You currently have a 4-way Bug weakness, so you probably want to patch that up with the last members, or better yet, replace one of the current members (I would vote Weavile) to cover that up. If it were me, I would go Hitmontop > Weavile, then probably add in some mons like Thundurus and Volcarona, etc.
 

Level 51

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Quick post because I don't have much time
Actually, one metagame trend I have noticed is the interesting change of playstyles. At first people mainly played with fast, strong sweepers (and thus weather); after cstick's RMT, Tailwind became more common; now, most successful teams are bulky offense. Thoughts?
 

Laga

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Any metagame shapes itself after what people are interested in, even without any notable differences happening. UU has become much more offensive and speed focused since BW1, and OU had as well before Deoxys-D and Landorus-I where banned from it.

You also see Goodstuff (preparing to counter opposing strategies) teams changes towards countering the most used strategies in Doubles. I don't personally see much of a drop in Tailwind or weather, but Tailwind might have dropped considering how prevelant Thundurus-I became due to Tailwind becoming popular. Thundurus-I also pisses DrizzleSwim teams off, and the use of Thundurus actually let's your team use bulky offense. I also think Hitmontop and Cresselia provide fantastic utility to bulky offense, and these 3 pokemon are used a lot in high level play. Cresselia mostly, though, due to it's Icy Wind spam / Trick Room and Helping Hand combined with it's supernatural bulk just encourages people to run bulky offense. Those 3 pokemon mostly is what I think encourages the use of bulky offense in Doubles the moment.
 
Well, the question is then what do you do to counteract bulky offense? I think part of the reason bulky offense survives is because it will never auto-lose. Tailwind hyper offense comes unstuck inside Trick Room, Intimidate spamming teams will struggle to contain Defiant mons, full Trick Room can't handle a goodstuff team packed with Taunt and Fake Out users which won't give it breathing space to twist the dimensions, etc etc. I can't think of a single other playstyle that comprehensively destroys bulky offense. If there is such a style, then, by other's observations, it is probably where the metagame is headed next (though of course gen VI is just round the corner and there could be some truly revolutionary new mechanics introduced).
 

Arcticblast

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Echoing Punchshroom - a well-played Kingdra or Manaphy just beats the shit out of the average Goodstuff team, regardless of the presence of Tyranitar or Gastrodon, and Blizzspam is just as troublesome.
 
Echoing Punchshroom - a well-played Kingdra or Manaphy just beats the shit out of the average Goodstuff team, regardless of the presence of Tyranitar or Gastrodon, and Blizzspam is just as troublesome.
Hey, I run Kingdra and I struggle against bulky goodstuffs at the moment; must not be playing it well :confused:. (Maybe it's just because of Muddy Water misshax.)

If this is the case, why doesn't everyone run their own weather? And by this, I don't mean stick Abomasnow into a goodstuff to check rain and maybe break opposing Focus Sashes, I mean run a weather starter, maybe have manual weather too, and abuse the crap out of it. Put simply, what are the disadvantages of weather? What team archetypes does standard weather offense fair badly against?

(This question has already been asked a hundred times on the OU forums...)
 
Actually if I'm not mistaken, bulky offense usually struggles against weather.
Echoing Punchshroom - a well-played Kingdra or Manaphy just beats the shit out of the average Goodstuff team, regardless of the presence of Tyranitar or Gastrodon, and Blizzspam is just as troublesome.
I'm not sure why we are treating "bulky offense" and "goodstuff" as the same thing. Goodstuff is incredibly flexible, it does not pertain to one particular area, apart from counteracting the opponent's strategy, a Goodstuff team can include Excadrill, Offensive Thundurus, Scarf Chandelure, etc. It does NOT consist of only bulky pokemon. Not sure if I'm just misunderstanding, but clearing that up in case other people were. Goodstuff teams tend to have some bulky offense in them, but fast-paced offense is certainly a part of them. I'd also like to specify that a Sand team running Gastrodon is not a Goodstuff team, it is a team using a type of Goodstuff playstyle to deal with Rain. Full-out Goodstuff teams are far more dedicated.

Anyways, since the thing we are talking about is bulky offense, imma shut up about Goodstuff. In the terms of bulky offense being successful, I generally see bulky Trick Room offense being successful, which is pretty sad considering most of them are incredibly weak to Taunt, Spore, etc. There is a 2000+ player with one of these teams that I have beaten something like 5 times on the ladder, yet he remains up there because so many people on the ladder aren't prepared for it, which in my opinion, is pretty sad. I'm not saying Trick Room is bad, Punchshroom has had legitimate success with a team that is better prepared for those things. I haven't really see much bulky offense outside of that, there was this one team that ran Fake Out Kangashkan and had a very high rating, which I thought was interesting. Apart from that, the successful teams I see are generally Trick Room, and a majority of them are people who don't really understand Trick Room, they just use it because it unfortunately works.... a lot. Still, Level 51's post shows how things like RMTs and more experience shape the ladder. Now I don't want to take a bunch of space, so imma just hide the next part, but it covers:
Beat Up + Justified- Let's be honest, VGC 2011 was a long time ago, and nowadays this strategy is outright horrible. Its easy to see coming, even if it works, most high-level teams will be able to stop it, and like Skill Swap, it relies entirely on the partner to be successful. Please, ladder, find something better. -_-
Unprepared Trick Room- If you are going to use a Trick Room team, you should at least be ready to deal with things like Thundurus. Unfortunately, the ladder seems to be unaware of this, as something like 75% of Trick Room teams are completely unprepared for their weaknesses. Blank_Zero, for example, destroyed on of the highest ranked Trick Room teams with a Thundurus, because it ran Dusclops to set Trick Room, who was evidently complete Taunt bait.
Shell Smash Cloyster- I don't care if you are running Amoonguss, Jirachi, Togekiss, or whatever. This thing is not going to work very well. Heat Waves, Rock Slides, etc. Will do a lot of damage, leaving it pretty easy to take out with priority. Furthermore, it can barely dent Steel types, even after a Shell Smash, and Cresselia can cripple it with Icy Wind or Thunder Wave. You'd be better off running a Scarf Cloyster or the likes.
Simple Beam/Skill Swap Shenanigans- Just like Beat Up + Justified, these are pretty easy to see coming, easy to predict, and Worry Seed, Simple Beam, and Entrainment actually fail on Slaking, just making it all the more terrible. The best you can do is to do something a bit more, well, more.
Overuse of Entry Hazards- Yeah, the occasional Stealth Rock in a very unimportant slot can be excusable, but seriously, Forretress with all three? While switching still happens a fair bit, you can do more effective things in Doubles than dealing 12% to a Cresselia every time it switches in. The high amount of Flying and Levitate pokemon just makes Spikes/Toxic Spikes completely useless, too.
 
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I don't think we should be annoyed at newcomers for doing these things. When I was new here just a few months ago I tried out all the stupid combinations like that. You just think "wow, that sounds amazing", or "this can't possibly be beaten". It's part of the learning curve, using those kind of gimmicks and discovering that they are bad. Seeing these things on the ladder should make us feel good because it means (probably, unless someone is trolling) that more people are being introduced to the metagame.

I have seen all the stuff mentioned in the previous two posts in the last twenty minutes, by the way. I'm kind of hankering for a ridiculous psych up passing chain, haven't seen one of those in a while.
 

Punchshroom

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Hazards. I mean seriously. Battles will be over so quick hard switches are rarely made, so the chip damage will not matter and will be better replaced with, I don't know, Protect?
 
Added Hazards and Skill Swap/Simple Beam shenanigans to the list. :p

I don't think we should be annoyed at newcomers for doing these things. When I was new here just a few months ago I tried out all the stupid combinations like that. You just think "wow, that sounds amazing", or "this can't possibly be beaten". It's part of the learning curve, using those kind of gimmicks and discovering that they are bad. Seeing these things on the ladder should make us feel good because it means (probably, unless someone is trolling) that more people are being introduced to the metagame.

I have seen all the stuff mentioned in the previous two posts in the last twenty minutes, by the way. I'm kind of hankering for a ridiculous psych up passing chain, haven't seen one of those in a while.
This is not intended as a "hate list" (sorry if I worded it to sound like one), its more of a list of trends that don't really work in the metagame, which can be helpful for the new players in familiarizing them with the better strategies.

What really annoys me is that the overall quality of the ladder lets teams like this get away with 1400-1700 ratings. This means that when they lose to the teams that are actually high level, they won't care; their team has a relatively decent score on the ladder, and they don't really want to lose it trying out new things. So you end up seeing the same person again and again and again on the ladder, always using the same strategy, not learning from mistakes, etc, which is really the sort of intention I had in mind with this (apart from going into ineffective trends, since we've covered most of the effective ones).
 
lol pls add Simple Beam + Slaking.

Actually, just add Slaking as itself.
Actually, Simple Beam (entrainment, and worry seed while we're at it) fail on Slaking because GF won't let us remove Truant that easily :( Skill swap and gastro acid are the only ability-related move that sheds Slaking's Truant.

While we're on the subject of gimmicks, I like to use Smeargle with Imprison and Transform. Whatever I transform into with that combo will be rendered unable to use any of its moves! It is so delicious when it works.

It's not easy at all though because it's Smeargle; everyone has the mentality of "KILL IT BEFORE IT USES SPORE LOL" and Smeargle will always fold to a critical hit (critical hits damage the Pokemon based on their pre-transformed stats).
 

Punchshroom

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Wait, how does that work? Won't Smeargle lose Imprison when it transforms unless said opponent also has Imprison?

Edit: Ah right, you used Imprison before you Transformed. Smeargle will be hard pressed to survive that long though.
 
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Imprison's effects carry over after the transformation, so it can seal the moves of whatever it transforms into no problem (if their other Pokemon share any moves the morph target has, they can't use them either!). Also, even if the opponent switches out their morph target, they still won't be able to do anything but struggle so long as Smeargle remains in play.

I got this idea while EV training a Smeargle and quick tested it on a wild patrat. I began going to town with the strategy on Random Matchup and lol'd at all the blue screens I got. x)
 
What really annoys me is that the overall quality of the ladder lets teams like this get away with 1400-1700 ratings. This means that when they lose to the teams that are actually high level, they won't care; their team has a relatively decent score on the ladder, and they don't really want to lose it trying out new things. So you end up seeing the same person again and again and again on the ladder, always using the same strategy, not learning from mistakes, etc, which is really the sort of intention I had in mind with this (apart from going into ineffective trends, since we've covered most of the effective ones).
This is the problem, and it's been alluded to earlier by whoever mentioned that many mid-ranked ladder teams are exclusively self-centred, with no thought for stopping the opponent's plans. These teams will lose to (a) any team with any kind of goodstuff element (not necessarily full goodstuffs, i'm talking just running Fake Out or Taunt), which will spot, say, Frost Breath/Anger Point (can't believe no-one's mentioned that one yet) from a million miles off and stop it, and (b) another self-centred team which has a even more ridiculously powerful but preventable strategy (which is therefore in many ways worse than the team it beat). If the losing player is going to react to and emulate one of these teams, it's probably (b), because self-centred teams only require a knowledge of your own team, whereas successful goodstuff requires deep knowledge of the entire metagame, and a newcomer used to Psych Up-passing stat boosts against other newcomers will really struggle to make a team without gaping holes. We should be encouraging newcomers to make these steps, but for many they will have to go backwards (ladder-wise) before they improve, which is preventing them from doing so.
 
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